News

I'm delighted to say that critics as well as audiences have responded enthusiastically to Identity Crisis in the first week of its premiere production at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury, MA.

Killian Melloy of EDGE Media/Boston says that the play "tackles thorny social questions and disarms them not only with humor, but with precise and devastating wit." And he concludes his review: "For the audience, it's a tart, fresh, smart take on things that have grown toxic in the culture at large. If laughter is the best medicine, our healing around issues of race and social privilege begins here." You can read the full review here: http://www.edgeboston.com/entertainment/theatre/reviews/168668/identity_...

In his "Mirror Up to Nature" blog,  Art Hennessey writes: "At Hibernian Hall,  a quiet riot is taking place...Identity Crisis has a diverse audience sending laughter up into the high ceiling of the Hall's third floor playing space." Full text: http://mirroruptolife.blogspot.com/2014/11/drawing-room-comedy-as-fabulo...

Six performances remaining -- don't miss out! Tickets at: www.hibernianhall.org

 

Orbiting Mars, my wacky satire about militarism and celebrity culture, will receive a staged reading at Cape Cod Community College in Massachusetts on February 26.

It will be staged at the Tilden Arts Center in West Barnstable as part of the theater department's "Play With Your Food" series. 

This will be the fourth staged reading in as many years for Orbiting Mars, which is yet to have a full production. Other readings have been mounted by the Penobscot Theatre in Maine, North Shore Readers Theatre Collaborative in Massachusetts, and Reston Community Players in Virginia. The play won the annual new play contest of the Santa Cruz Actors' Theatre in Santa, CA.

My short play "Bull" will receive its first production at The Landing Theater in Houston after being selected for their Redemption Series that runs September 21 to October 3.  The play is about the the love/hate relationship of two New York City cops with Arturo DiModica's iconic statue of the Charging Bull. The pair are guarding the statue during the Occupy Wall Street protests.

A crowdsourcing campaign  to finance a tour and promotion of The Draft, my new play about personal experiences with the Vietnam War draft, will launch tomorrow (June 3). The Indiegogo link is: http://igg.me/at/tour-the-draft. The campaign also has a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/tourthedraft

The Draft will premiere at Hibernian Hall, a multicultural performing arts center in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, for eight performances September 10-20. The production will then go on the road for three performances -- at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA (September 24); Trinity College in Hartford, CT (September 25); and The Academy of Music in Northampton, MA (September 27).

We need to raise $18,500 to cover the costs of the tour gigs and to mount a strong promotional campaign -- including the use of a videotaped performance --to generate interest in further productions and readings, especially in colleges and high schools, around the country. Please contribute generously!

The sad fact is that many young people know next to nothing about the Vietnam War and its historical significance. Two months ago, I went with Tom Weiner -- author of "Called to Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam War Draft"on which the play is based -- to speak with a class at Westfield State College about the making of his book and my play. At one point we asked the 16 students present if they'd learned anything about the Vietnam War in high school. Only one raised her hand. For the others, the topic was either barely or never covered in history class.

Together with Tom's book, I think The Draft could be an effective "living history" educational tool.  It can bring alive for young people not only the agonizing dilemma faced by people their own age back then, but also the personal costs of war and militarism. I hope, too, that the play will prove a source of enlightenment and inspiration about  the capacity of social movements to catalyze transformative change -- as the anti-war, civil rights, Black Power and women's movements did during that turbulent era. 

 

My play, The Draft, about personal experiences with the Vietnam War draft, received a Best Ensemble in A Play award in the 2015 ArtsImpulse awards in Boston last week. The Draft also got the nod for Best New Work, but lost out to Waitress, staged by the American Repertory Theatre. It was honored, too, by the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) with a Best New Play (Small Stage) nomination in their annual awards. We had an amazing cast and crew for the premiere production of The Draft at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury, MA last fall. Under Diego Arciniegas's artful and imaginative direction, it was a consummate collaboration, and I'm thrilled that we've received this recognition!

The Draft was the last of the four plays of mine produced at Hibernian Hall, where I was Visiting Playwright for 2013/14. 

The Draft, my play about personal experiences with the military draft during the Vietnam War, has been nominated for Best New Work and Best Ensemble in A Play in Boston's 2015 ArtsImpulse Awards: http://www.artsimpulse.com/2015-artsimpulse-theatre-award-nominees

The play premiered last September at Hibernian Hall, a multicultural performing arts center in Roxbury, MA, where I was Visiting Playwright for 2013/14. The production then toured to Westfield State University in Westfield, MA; Trinity College in Hartford, CT; and The Academy of Music in Northampton, MA. 

A video of one of the Hibernian Hall performances is now being edited. The plan is to combine the video, the script and a teacher's guide and promote the package to colleges and high schools as an educational tool on war and militarism. All of this is being made possible by the generosity of the many donors to our crowdfunding campaign. Thank you!

Two touring dates have now been secured for The Draft, my new multi-media play about personal experiences with the military draft during the Vietnam War. The show will premiere at Hibernian Hall, a multicultural performing arts center in Roxbury, MA, from September 10-20. It'll then go on the road to Westfield State University in Westfield, MA (September 24), followed by the Academy of Music in Northampton, MA (September 27.)

We're hoping to add a third touring date -- we're exploring possibilities right now -- but it somewhat depends on the success of a crowdsourcing campaign that will finance the tour and the promotion of the play around the country . The campaign will launch in late May on Indiegogo. Here's the link if you'd like to contribute: http://igg.me/at/tour-the-draft. Donations of any size will be hugely appreciated!

The Draft was originally slated to premiere at Hibernian Hall in February. But delays in planned renovations to the space meant that we had to push it back to September. Which turned out to be serendipitous because, with Boston buried by Snowmaggedon in February, we'd never have managed to rehearse the piece, let alone attract an audience!

A video of my play, The Draft, should be available in January for purchase from the Media Education Foundation. MEF specializes in distributing educational documentary films to colleges and high schoolsI've also set up a website to boost promotion of the video: www.vietnamdraftplay.com My fellow collaborators and I have always had the ambition that The Draft -- based on Tom Weiner's book, "Called To Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronting the Vietnam War Draft" -- could be an effective educational tool on issues on war and militarism. And MEF clearly shares our faith in its potential by including the video in its 2017 catalog.

Of course, we'd never have gotten this far without the incredible generosity of so many friends and family members. Thanks to your contributions to our Indiegogo campaign, we were able to hire a terrific filmmaker, Bruce Petschek, to film a performance of the play during its premiere run at Hibernian Hall in Boston, and then tour the show for three performances -- two at colleges -- in western Massachusetts and Connecticut.